|Tuesday, March 7, 2000,
China hold extensive talks
jets raid Lebanon area
raises defence outlay
rejects Indias offer
return to pick up threads
win injunction on privacy
links UN Council membership to Kashmir
|All set for super
WASHINGTON, March 6 George W. Bush, edging ahead in New Yorks showdown primary, looked toward the end of the Clinton era, while Republican opponent John McCain blasted dirty money in the Texans campaign.
Woman weeps blood
courting Indian model
India, China hold extensive talks
BEIJING, March 6 (PTI) India and China today held the first-ever bilateral security dialogue here on global and regional issues of mutual interests which was described as extensive and wide ranging.
Describing the talks on the opening day of the two-day parley as useful, a spokesman of the Indian Embassy said the first session was extensive and wide ranging.
The talks, held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, were found to be useful and helped in forging a better understanding of various issues, he said.
The two sides reviewed global, regional and other issues of common interests, he said.
The Indian side is being led by the Joint Secretary (Disarmament) in the External Affairs Ministry, Mr Rakesh Sood, while the Chinese side is headed by Director-General of the Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhang Jiuhan.
The decision to hold the dialogue was one of the major outcomes of External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singhs visit here last year, which also put the Sino-Indian relations back on the track after the chill in the post-Pokhran phase.
Earlier, official sources hoped the security dialogue would provide both sides the opportunity to understand each other better and help provide depth in Indo-China relations.
The security dialogue is intended to understand each other and discuss threadbare the concerns of each other in a frank manner, a source said.
A senior Indian diplomat said he hoped the Chinese side would be willing to discuss the nitty-gritty of bilateral ties and address Indias concerns, especially the Sino-Pakistani relations, which impinged on Indias security.
Israeli jets raid Lebanon area
BEIRUT, March 6 (DPA) Israeli warplanes today raided an area on the edge of the border zone in southern Lebanon, the Lebanese police said.
The jets fired two missiles at the village of Majdel al Selim, east of the port city of Tyre. There was no immediate word on casualties or damage.
The raid came a day after the Israeli Cabinet endorsed a plan to end the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon by July.
Yesterday, Israeli jets had fired four missiles on the same area and the outskirts of Baarchiite, the police said.
Sundays raids came after Hezbollah claimed responsibility for three attacks against an Israeli post in Taibeh and two other positions manned by their surrogate South Lebanon Army (SLA) in Kusseir, all located in the central sector of the zone.
The SLA radio confirmed the attacks but said there were some casualties.
An Israeli soldier was wounded shortly after midnight on Saturday when guerrillas attacked an Israeli post at the edge of the occupied border zone in southern Lebanon, the police said.
The Lebanese resistance brigades, a part of Hezbollah which groups Lebanese citizens from various religions, attacked with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades in the Beauforte Castle post, the police said.
JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Ehud Barak has warned that any attacks on Israeli territory from Lebanon after a promised troop withdrawal by July would be met with a harsh response.
I dont advise anyone to test our reaction when we are deployed along the international border. We will defend ourselves from the international border, Mr Barak told Israels privately run channel two television on Sunday.
The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday gave its unanimous backing to a withdrawal from the occupied border zone in south Lebanon within four months, even without an accord with Lebanons Syrian patron.
Its an end to the tragedy, an end to the bloodshed, Mr Barak added.
RAMALLAH (West Bank): As many as 29 Palestinian students detained for allegedly throwing stones at French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin will soon be released, an Palestinian authority said here.
On orders of President Yasser Arafat, all students who were imprisoned will be released, legislator Razi Hananya told AFP on Sunday.
All 120 students originally arrested were released except for 29 who are in detention in the West Bank town of Jericho.
PRAGUE: The USA has welcomed the Israeli Cabinets endorsement of plans to end the occupation of southern Lebanon by July, backing the move as part of a broader negotiated settlement.
Israel has made it clear for some time that it is committed to withdrawing its forces from south Lebanon by the middle of the year, State Department spokesman Philip T. Reeker said yesterday.
China raises defence outlay
BEIJING, March 6 (DPA, PTI) China will spend 120.5 billion yuan ($ 14.5 billion ) on national defence in 2000, up 12.7 per cent over last year, a report seen by delegates to the National Peoples Congress.
The rise in Chinas military spending followed the pattern of increase in recent years and would go mainly towards pay rises and living expenses of the 2.5-million-strong Peoples Liberation Army, said the report, to be read by Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng later tomorrow.
An additional 5.6 billion yuan has been earmarked to cover losses incurred by the PLA after divesting from their Myriad business operations, the report said.Meanwhile, the Chinese military today warned Taiwan that millions of troops are on high alert ready for an immediate strike if the island moved towards independence.
The warning comes ahead of the March 18 presidential poll in Taiwan, which Beijing views as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland at an early date.
As for the Taiwan independence and separatist forces, the Peoples Liberation Armys millions of troops stand in combat readiness, are on high alert and will never sit by idly any if any attempt is made to split China, says a sabre-rattling commentary in the Chinese armys mouthpiece, the Liberation Army Daily.
We will adopt all measures to firmly crush any attempts to divide China and will realise the complete reunification of the motherland. If any major incident to separate Taiwan from China under any pretext occurs, the paper warned.
The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) is determined to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity with confidence, capability and effective means, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Gen Zhang Wannian said.
Nepal rejects Indias offer
KATHMANDU, March 6 (AFP) Nepal has rejected a proposal from India to station Indian security personnel at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, senior officials said today.
The proposal followed the December 24 hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane during a flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi.
Nepalese Foreign Secretary Murari Raj Sharma said that Nepal, as a sovereign state, would never accept Indian security personnel at the airport.
Indias Minister of State for Civil Aviation Chaman Lal Gupta in New Delhi was recently quoted as saying that Nepal had agreed in principle to the proposal.
But Sharma insisted, We already rejected the proposal for manning Indian security personnel at the TIA when high-level official talks between both sides were held in Kathmandu last month.
He said security arrangements at the TIA were in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines and were equal to any of the worlds top airports.
Survivors return to pick up threads
CHOKWE, Mozambique, March 6 (AP) With floodwaters subsiding under a baking sun, hundreds of famished people straggled home to the southern town of Chokwe, searching for homes and belongings amid collapsed buildings, ruined crops and bodies.
The returning residents of Chokwe yesterday were among the thousands of Mozambicans who were trying to fathom what remained of their hardscrabble lives made all the worse by devastating floods.
UN and aid agency officials said the international relief operation in this southeast African nation was shifting from those threatened with drowning to distributing food and water to desperate survivors. Between 8,00,000 and one million persons lost their homes or livelihood in the deluge and were in urgent need of help, they said.
Blairs win injunction on privacy
LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) British Prime Minister Tony Blairs wife may sue if there is a breach of a court injunction blocking publication of memoirs by the former nanny of their three children, aides said today.
Ms Cherie Blair won a court injunction at the weekend to prevent The Mail on Sunday from publishing extracts from the 180,000-word memoirs written by Rosalind Mark, who worked for the Blairs from 1994 to 1998.
The Prime Minister issued a statement yesterday vowing to do whatever it takes to protect his familys privacy.
It is up to Mrs Blair as a claimant what action to take and what damages to claim. That will depend on how the three defendants respond over the next few days, a Blair aide said.
The injunction named Mark, The Mail on Sunday and literary agent Jonathan Harris.
Ms Mark said she was devastated by the row and insisted she had not intended any of her account to be published. The Mail on Sunday said she had offered to cooperate over the story and announced it planned to challenge the injunction in court. Mr Harris denied playing any part in the publication.
Clinton links UN Council membership to Kashmir
WASHINGTON, March 6 (PTI) US President Bill Clinton has sought to link Indias permanent membership of the UN Security Council to the UN resolution on Kashmir which he sees as the main obstacle in the process, according to a press note of the Indian American Political Foundation (IAPF).
India should be a permanent member of the Security Council along with Brazil and Japan but how to overcome the UN resolution regarding Kashmir was the main obstacle to such action, it quoted Mr Clinton as telling IAPF founder President Sunil Aghi at a dinner last night organised by the foundation.
All set for super Tuesday
WASHINGTON, March 6 (Reuters) George W. Bush, edging ahead in New Yorks showdown primary, looked toward the end of the Clinton era, while Republican opponent John McCain blasted dirty money in the Texans campaign.
Vice President Al Gore, meanwhile, hoped to finish off his Democratic Party opponent, former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, on Tuesday when both party nominations could be decided in super Tuesday primary voting across the USA.
Woman weeps blood
ALGIERS, March 6 (AFP) A young Algerian woman who has been weeping blood for more than two months despite having nothing apparently wrong with her eyes will be sent to see specialist doctors in Riyadh, the Saudi Embassy said.
Rushdie courting Indian model
LONDON, March 6 (PTI) Thrice-married India-born writer Salman Rushdie has become the talk of New York after he was seen publicly escorting Padma Lakshmi, a 29-year-old model and actress, to glittering parties in the city last week, media reported yesterday.
The Sunday Times, quoting friends, reported that Rushdie and Lakshmi had been inseparable since they met last autumn at a party given by Talk magazine.
Rushdie (53) was said to be absolutely smitten by Lakshmi. Last month he introduced her to London friends in publishing and media circles. He then left for the USA, first to Los Angeles where Lakshmi lived, and then to New York.
ex-chief goes into hiding
Serb war crimes
70 Afghan kids
die of measles
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